18,794 rewards claimed as part of Welsh government DDRS trial


digital deposit return scheme

18,794 rewards were claimed as part of the digital deposit return scheme (DDRS) Scan|Recycle|Reward trial in Brecon, Wales.

DDRS Alliance led the Brecon Scan|Recycle|Reward trial with support from the Welsh government, Powys County Council, WRAP’s Collaborative Change Programme, and local retailers. The trial tested technology that allowed people to digitally scan drink containers and return in-scope items through kerbside collections.

As part of the trial scheme, residents could claim a 10p reward alongside their deposit when returning eligible containers. Typically, people are charged a deposit on drink containers which they can reclaim by returning the item to a retailer or a reverse vending machine (RVM).

Results from the DDRS trial showed that 58% of all returned containers came through weekly household recycling collections and 97.6% of all containers returned at home were captured in the recycling stream. 56% of participants surveyed said they would recommend the scheme in the future.

PET plastic bottles comprised 63% of returns, while cans covered 29%, cartons 7%, and glass less than 1%. The Welsh government said the trial showed a range of return options was preferred over any particular route and there was “no significant fraud or misuse” of the system.

WRAP looks forward to helping Welsh government introduce a DRS system that works successfully across the whole country.

Commenting on the results, Claire Shrewsberry, Director of Insights & Innovation, WRAP, said: “This trial has been hugely important to better understand the complexities of operating a successful DDRS scheme in Wales.

“It’s clear that the people involved have completely embraced the options. WRAP looks forward to helping Welsh government introduce a DRS system that works successfully across the whole country and builds on its impressive recycling performance”.

The trial enabled participants to return eligible containers through four different return methods, which the Welsh government said also accommodated non-smartphone users.

  • Kerbside: Utilised existing weekly kerbside recycling service, crediting rewards to an online account (smartphone required).
  • Automated Return Point (ARP): Similar to traditional RVMs rewards were credited to either online accounts or printed cash vouchers (smartphone optional).
  • Community Bins: Outdoor, on-the-go option crediting rewards to an online account (smartphone required).
  • Over the Counter Return (OTC): Rewards redeemed in-store as cash (smartphone not required).

Co-founder & Director of DDRS Alliance, Duncan Midwood commented: “This trial was incredibly complex, involving 24 retailers and over 50 suppliers and partners.

“Despite its complexity, it worked flawlessly and has delivered some great insight and, more importantly, showed that the British public values a solution for increasing recycling and reducing litter that fits in with their varied and busy lives.”

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